To the editor:
Why would outside conservative groups train students to win our SA elections? The SA has control over the finances of various clubs and groups on campus, chooses which bands and speakers will come to campus and influences university administrative polices. Few students keep close track of the Student Association, which may be why the Leadership Institute (leadershipinstitute.org) and Campus Reform (campusreform.org) have found Binghamton an easy target. For the last four years, they’ve been installing conservative students in the SA. This Wednesday, students will have the chance to buck this trend just by voting in our SA elections through BMail, since a larger turnout could offset the LI’s efforts.
Founded by former College Republican state chairman Morton C. Blackwell, the Leadership Institute boasts “40 types of training schools, workshops and seminars” and “a national field program that trains conservative students to organize campus groups.” It takes pride in its function as a centralized generator of right-wing political activist groups — in our case, this happens to be the Binghamton Review.
LI’s child project, CampusReform.org, “provides conservative activists with the resources, networking capabilities and skills they need to revolutionize the struggle against leftist bias and abuse on college campuses.” Simply put, Campus Reform and the Institute — outside conservative groups — train Binghamton Review members to steal our SA elections. This gives Campus Reform unprecedented control over our campus. Come March 20, we can put a stop to this with informed voting.
While the Leadership Institute can not directly fund student election campaigns, they train conservative students and provide political advice to the Binghamton Review on how to seize control of the SA. They’ve actually gloated about stealing our elections: Take Adam Shamah in 2010, the former VP for Finance — and Editor-in-Chief at the Binghamton Review. The Institute bragged that his victory was due to “the training he received from the Campus Election Workshop.” This statement is public on their website.
Who among those who are running this semester for SA positions will have this organization training and backing them? With past and possibly present Leadership Institute “graduates” in SA finance positions, how have certain student clubs suffered or certain others been inflated by the role of outside groups? And why has the Binghamton Review never disclosed this support before?
While many student groups receive advice from mothership organizations, no other groups offer training in “schools and workshops” on how steal SA elections. These shady outside conservative groups intend to put ideological Binghamton Review students in charge our SA. And by anointing our SA Executive Board, Campus Reform and the Leadership Institute are the ones really controlling our campus. We can stop this by voting for and running for our SA, rather than standing idly by as political ideologies shape every aspect of our student life.
Class of 2014